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ENC Claims Conference Championships & Reaches First NCAA Tournaments
Published: May 17, 2019
The ENC women’s softball and men’s tennis teams captured the school’s first conference championships since 1999-2000 this spring, reaching the NCAA Tournament for the first time.
The Lions’ softball team claimed the NECC Tournament title in dramatic fashion, winning three must-win games on the final day of the NECC Tournament and clinching the crown with a walk-off home run.
Participating in the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament, the Lions’ softball team dropped their opening game to Rowan 3-2 before topping Husson 7-1 to earn the program’s first NCAA Tournament win. Ultimately, ENC was eliminated from the NCAA Tournament with a heart-breaking 5-4 loss to regionally-ranked MIT.
Eastern Nazarene senior Lauren Clements (Garrison, Texas) was named the NECC Player of the Year while junior Elisabeth Schaffer (Benton, Pa.) was the NECC Pitcher of the Year. Fourth-year head coach Dani Bishop was voted the NECC Coach of the Year. Clements, Schaffer, and junior Kori Bow (Shaftsbury, Vt.) were all selected to the All-NECC first team while rookie Kiley Ozaki (Ewa Beach, Hawaii) earned All-NECC third team honors.
The Lions finished the 2019 campaign with a 29-15 record, setting a new single-season record for wins.
The ENC men’s tennis team stormed past Ramapo in the GNAC Tournament finals to dethrone the six-time defending league champions.
In their NCAA Tournament debut, the Lions’ men’s tennis team defeated Yeshiva 5-1. The victory marked ENC’s first NCAA Tournament win since 2000, snapping a 7,005-day drought. The ENC men’s tennis team was eliminated from the tournament with a loss to 2018 national runner-up Bowdoin.
Eastern Nazarene junior Henry Siercke (Hamburg, Germany) claimed GNAC Player of the Year honors and freshman Diego Rodriguez (Barquisimeto, Venezuela) was named the GNAC Rookie of the Year. Julius Opaschowski (Hamburg, Germany), Tim Schoengens (Inden, Germany), Siercke, and Rodriguez all picked up All-GNAC accolades.
The Lions posted a 17-8 overall record in 2019, matching the program’s single-season win record for the third year in a row.